With many daycares, preschools, and schools requiring peanut-free snacks (and some even tree-nut-free snacks), this list of options is here to help. I have ideas to buy from the store and to make at home so you never run out of yummy, nutritious snacks to pack for the kids.
One of the first things we learn when starting at a new school or daycare is which snacks we can and cannot send. I’m always looking for an easy-to-reference list of kid-friendly snacks that are nutritious, easy to find, and foods my kids actually liked.
Often, the lists that came home included a lot of candy. No shame to candy, but that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for when trying to pack a snack to help my little stay full until mealtime. These ideas are here to help.
Easy Snacks for School
Whether you need snacks for daycare, preschool, camp, or regular school, the ideas here check all of the boxes. I’ve included options for crackers, pretzels, puffs, snack bars, dairy-based snacks (like yogurt and cheese), fruit-based snacks, and a few homemade snack options.
The majority of these are available at any grocery store, though I’m also including links in case you prefer to order online.
Contents hide 1 Peanut-Free Snacks 2 Easy Snacks for School 3 Labels to Look For 4 Crackers, Pretzels, and Puffs 5 Snack Bars and Bites 6 Yogurt, Cheese, and Milks 7 Fruit Snacks 8 Peanut-Free Homemade Snacks 9 Best Tips for Success 10 Related Recipes
Labels to Look For
To verify that the snack is nut-free, keep an eye out for phrases like “May Contain Peanut or Tree Nuts,” “Manufactured in a plant with peanut or tree nuts,” “Contains Peanut or Tree Nut Ingredients.”
If your child has a life-threatening food allergy, BE SURE to double check all package labels as they may change from the time of publishing this post.
TIP: If you need to avoid coconut, be sure to look for that on the label, too.
Crackers, Pretzels, and Puffs
Here are a few of our favorite crunchy snack options to pack for snack.
- Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies
- Cheese sandwich crackers (Ritz, Keebler, Trader Joe’s)
- Bitsy’s Brainfood Cheddar Crackers
- Wheat Thins
- Breton Crackers
- Pretzels (Newman’s Own, Pepperidge Farm, Herr’s, Utz, Bachman, Snyder’s, and Rold Gold)
- Harvest Snaps
- Trader Joe’s Inner Peas
- Chickpea Puffs (Bienna or Hippeas)
- Baby Puffs
- Pirate’s Booty
Snack Bars and Bites
These bars and bites are all great options for kids snacks. Add milk or cheese to make any of these a little more filling if needed.
- Made Good Granola Bars
- Made Good Crispy Rice Bars
- Enjoy Life Foods Baked Chewy Bars
- Enjoy Life Foods Protein Bites
- Fig Bars
- Don’t Go Nuts Energy Bars
- Zego Fruit Bars
- That’s It bars
- Rice Crispy Treats
- Nutrigrain Bars
- Dino Bars (use the code yummy10 to take 10% off one of our favorite kid’s bars!)
Yogurt, Cheese, and Milks
If you have a kiddo who can’t do dairy, look for a non-dairy equivalent. There are so many great options now.
- Yogurt tubes (like Siggis, GoGurt, and more)
- Yogurt pouches (such as one from Stonyfield and Trader Joe’s)
- Cheese sticks (Horizon Organic, Crystal Farms, Kraft, Organic Valley, Sargento, Sorrento, Land O Lakes, Tilamook, etc.)
- Laughing Cow
- Milk box (Horizon, local dairy brands)
- Nondairy milk box (Ripple)
- Chocolate milk box
- Yogurt Melts
- Moon Cheese
Sure, processed fruit snacks aren’t the same as fresh fruit, but they are a convenient and easy option to pack as a snack. And they deliver a lot of nutrients, so they are a handy option to have in the mix.
- Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bar
- Annie’s Fruit Snacks
- Annie’s Fruit Tape
- Applesauce pouches
- Freeze-dried fruit (such as Crispy Green)
- Dried fruit (such as boxes of raisins)
- Fresh fruit of choice
- Fruit cups (I prefer those in 100% juice)
- Fruit leather
Peanut-Free Homemade Snacks
Here are some options that you can make at home and pack and send. These are all easy and don’t have nuts. (For the first Granola Bars recipe, use sunflower seed butter!).
Easy Homemade Granola Bars We like to have these granola bars as a snack or toddler breakfast with milk or a smoothie—and they’re an excellent lunch box component too. You can make them plain or choose a flavor to add! Get the recipe Granola Bites (No-Bake, 3-Ingredients) A crispy dry granola, like this cinnamon flavor from Kind, works best in this recipe. Get the recipe Easy Cheese Crackers Recipe Mix up this easy-to-work-with cracker dough, then let the kids help roll and cut their way to the yummiest homemade cheese crackers recipe. These crackers have whole grains and a delightfully crisp texture. So good! Get the recipe Favorite Yogurt Muffins This is an epic of a basic muffin recipe that you can then add flavor to in all sorts of ways—from fruit to veggies to chocolate chips. The batter is packed with protein too, so the muffins are great for breakfast or snack. (The allergy-friendly substitutions are listed in the Notes section at the bottom.) Get the recipe Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins Loaded with whole grains and protein, these healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins are a really great standard recipe to turn to whenever you’re in the mood! Get the recipe Favorite Applesauce Muffins Perfectly spiced and just sweet enough, these Applesauce Muffins are a yummy breakfast or snack. We like these on their own, topped with nut or seed butter, or even with a smear of cream cheese. See what your littles like! Get the recipe Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana These healthy muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve. Get the recipe Lower Sugar Banana Bread (SO Good!) Be sure to use super ripe bananas—the more black and brown spots, the better the flavor and sweetness will be!—for the best results here. Adapted from The Salty Marshmallow Get the recipe Easy Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Scale this up or down according to how many servings you’re planning to make. The directions here are for one small toddler-size serving. (It’s okay if your kiddo wants more or doesn’t eat a whole serving though!) Get the recipe Easy Fruit Cups Transform diced fruit into delicious homemade fruit cups that rival store-bought in terms of flavor and cost. You can make more cups or less, according to your preference. Get the recipe Soft Roasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon If you start with dried beans in this salty-sweet snack, make sure to cook them until they are very tender. If making these for a kiddo under one, use maple syrup instead of honey or skip the sweetener all together. Get the recipe
TIP: You can see all of my Nut-free Recipes here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some snacks that are peanut-free?
Made Good and Enjoy Life brands make snacks that are free from the top allergens. You can also look at fruit snacks, freeze-dried fruit, cheese sticks, pouches, and puffs as options.
What snacks are peanut and tree-nut-free?
Made Good and Enjoy Life brands make snacks that are free from both peanuts and tree nuts. You can also consider fresh fruit including apples, bananas, and clementines as easy options. And cheese products like cheese sticks, milk, and yogurt.
Always read the package for specifics on each product.
Best Tips for Success
- Check all packaging for the specific labeling you need for your child.
- Double-check with your childcare facility, school, or organization for the requirements for snacks since they do vary considerably.
- Try to include a fat and/or a protein to help your child stay full until the next eating opportunity.